Man Holding Replica Machine Gun Shot to Death in Georgia

By Zack Stieber

A man holding a replica machine gun was shot to death in Walton County, Georgia, on Oct. 18, officials said.

Police officers responded to a  report of a man carrying a gun and found Mahlon Edward Summerour, 69, walking on the 400 block of E. Marable Street, about one block from Athens Technical College.

Summerour was wearing a curtain over his clothing when officers spotted him around 9 a.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced in a statement.

Officers said Summerour pointed the replica machine gun at one of the officers, prompting an officer to shoot him in the chest. He was killed by the gunshot.

“During the encounter, Summerour pointed the weapon at one of the officers,” Nelly Miles, public affairs director for the bureau, said in the statement. “One officer fired a shot at Summerour, striking him in the chest. Summerour was transported to a local hospital where he later died.”


A witness said that the gun looked real.

“We didn’t know it was a toy. I thought it was a real gun,” witness Malachi Sugars told WSB-TV.

Interim Police Chief R.V. Watts said the shooting was justified. “I have reviewed the video and I feel very comfortable with the officers’ actions taken in this,” he said.

Watts also offered his condolences to the family of Summerour, saying they were offered the chance to review the video footage of the shooting before it would be made public.

‘You’re Not Getting It’

“When they get out of the vehicle, the man was already walking toward them,” Watts said, describing the situation, reported the Walton Tribune. “The officer made contact with him and said, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ The guy had the weapon pulled up in the air.”

“He (the officer) said, ‘Hey, just keep it pointed up in the air’, then he said, ‘Better yet, why don’t you just hand me the weapon.’ The guy said, ‘You’re not getting it,’ steps back and wields the gun toward the officer—both officers—at which time one officer fired his weapon and strikes him the chest,” he added.

“The man drops the weapon, the second officer immediately starts administering first aid to him, EMS is notified and he’s taken to Athens, where he’s later pronounced deceased.”

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